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I totally disagree with the couple of negative reviews I'm seeing. If by "science fiction" you require aliens, supernatural powers, technologies made of unobtanium, or epic space battles, I guess you'd be disappointed. There's no "The One" character on a mission to save the Earth or the Universe here. But if you think of it as a mature genre, capable of creating a solid, 3-dimensional world set a century-plus hence, with characters whose lives revolve around real-world concerns and who speak and act the way real people do, then you'll really appreciate this book. The depiction of a semi-drowned New York is drilled into a bedrock of historical fact producing a solidly convincing sense of place that is the setting for a complex web of characters, motivations and completely plausible plot threads.
The performances are also among the best I've heard, and I'm not normally a huge fan of the multi-narrator approach but it works here. I was slightly amused to find, well into the book, that the character played by a reader who sounds African American, at least to my ear, turns out to be blond-haired, but to me the casting made him more interesting so I decided the author was wrong and continued to imagine him that way.
Just a first-rate read all around. Highest recommendation.
30 of 30 people found this review helpful
…is in here—climate change, extinction of animals, the economic divide between people, finance (pretty sure Robinson read The Big Short), fictional and non-fictional history of New York… Same goes with the wide variety of characters.
This was my first Robinson novel and will probably be my last. Half I listened to carefully, half with half an ear. There was just too much of everything in this novel—except character development. It took a looooong time for me to have any feeling for any of the characters—except Amelia. She was really the star of the show, and I probably liked her so much because her parts were funny and were a nice break from a lot of exposition, pontification, etc. etc. So while the topics of the book are right up my alley, the execution was somewhat lacking.
In the end, I’d say it was just ok. The audio narrators, for the most part, were great!
36 of 41 people found this review helpful